Editorial: Marking Time

Tony Stephens

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


I like this quote. I know it’s a bit obvious—a truism even—but still, there is something appealing about it when considered in the context of this iteration of Sturgeon.

Whether you read it as just another one of those buzzy affirmations plucked from the past to populate fridge magnets and bumper stickers, or as an instruction—you shouldn’t go where the path leads, it is better to make your own mark—the simplicity of the idea masks a deceptively complex reality. What does it really mean to traverse this new ground, to be a pioneer? And even more importantly, to realise you have taken on this role?

Every generation feels like they are the first to discover the world they inhabit. This process of discovery and rediscovery is a story told and retold, generation after generation. Whether in the music we listen to or the clothes we wear, or the even the series of ‘mistakes’ that punctuate our transition from adolescence to adulthood, there is an undeniable bravado that allows this pioneer spirit to be kept alive and well.

But then it happens. We grow up; we take on more and more responsibility; we have families and for most of us, we start the cycle over again. Generationally we are like the snake—shedding our collective skin to reveal something familiar underneath, albeit imbued with the experiences of those who have come before. It is within this idea of the surface or the skin, shaped and reshaped, that the discussion is located in this issue of Sturgeon. Across art, fashion, architecture, language and design we explore our ever changing relationship to the world we inhabit, identify and shape; both the trails we make and the paths we follow—for better or worse.


Tony Stephens
Guest Editor, Sturgeon


Read in full via the online issue 

eX de Medici
Backjob for an oil Executive 2014
Watercolour on paper
Artbank collection, purchased 2014